When the Washington Football Team email leaks ended Jon Gruden’s time with the Las Vegas Raiders and cast doubts on the professionalism of ESPN’s Adam Schefter hit, there was one notable figure who always seemed to escape any serious consequences. Despite the fact that the emails stemmed from an investigation in the workplace environment with WFT, owner Dan Snyder never seemed to be the focus of any of the emails and has, so far, evaded any kind of clear punishment over what happened.
According to Will Hobson and Liz Clarke of the Washington Post, that’s very much by design.
Washington Football Team owner Daniel Snyder worked to disrupt NFL's investigation of the team, records and interviews show https://t.co/KvfU9pDWsP
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 14, 2021
In an article dropped on Tuesday, WaPo reports that Snyder actively worked to disrupt the NFL’s investigation into his franchise despite publicly throwing support behind it.
Specifically, they point to an incident involving D.C. attorney Beth Wilkinson who was looking into a 2009 allegation of sexual misconduct against Snyder. The team owner’s attorneys then reportedly stepped in to prevent Wilkinson from speaking to Snyder’s accuser. While Snyder has denied the claims, the fact that he paid out a confidential $1.6 million settlement was seen as something that needed to be kept out of the public eye. And per the WaPo report, the accuser was actually offered more money beyond the $1.6 million settlement “if she agreed not to speak to anyone about her allegations against Snyder and her settlement with the team.”
Hobson and Clarke report that this was just one of many instances in which people working on behalf of Snyder have taken steps to prevent Wilkinson from getting what she needed to complete the NFL investigation. This is based on a review of “hundreds of pages of court records and interviews with more than 30 people, including current and former team and league officials.”
As far as the email leaks themselves, the WaPo report couldn’t verify who did it but they did note that “a person familiar with the NFL’s view said some league officials believe the leaks originated with Snyder.” The fact that the leaks did a lot of damage to the reputation of two people whom Snyder came to regard as enemies, Bruce Allen and Jeff Pash, appear to back this up. Quite a few people associated with the organization have said publicly that they think Snyder was behind the leaks.
While reporters continue to mine the story for answers, even as Roger Goodell and the NFL seem intent on burying the findings, there was a very strong reaction from the NFL world on social media to the latest report.
Hey @NFL –
You’ve gotten rid of the offensive nickname. Now get rid of the offensive owner. https://t.co/E5K5FMCE8T
— Lisa Guerrero 💃🏽 (@4lisaguerrero) December 14, 2021
As predictable as it is gross. https://t.co/ZhEqO6egri
— Arash Madani (@ArashMadani) December 14, 2021
well well well…if it isn't even more damning reporting about dan snyder.
keep covering for your boy, @nfl. great decision. https://t.co/c4y020PRw0
— shalise manza young (@shalisemyoung) December 14, 2021
He has to sell the team https://t.co/V0Ej6RoGY4
— Alex Del Barrio (@alexdelbarrio) December 14, 2021
Roger Goodell covering this scandal up looks a LOT worse now. https://t.co/Y4TflDQTxv
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) December 14, 2021
As always, we’ll see if anyone significant comes from all of this in terms of Snyder’s ownership of WFT and whether or not the NFL will be held accountable by Congress.